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11 Feb 2020 | 02:20 PM UTC

Lebanon: Hundreds wounded amid clashes in Beirut February 11 /update 89

Nearly 400 people wounded in clashes outside Parliament in Beirut February 11; further demonstrations expected over the near term

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LBN

Event

Nearly 400 people were wounded in Beirut on Tuesday, February 11, amid clashes between security forces and protesters. The violence erupted in the vicinity of the Lebanese Parliament, where MPs were set to gather in the morning (local time) for a confidence vote on the cabinet of newly appointed Prime Minister Hassan Diab. Protesters reportedly hurled stones, eggs, and paint at riot police and lawmakers in an attempt to delay the meeting; one MP was wounded after being struck in the face by a projectile. A group of rioters later set fire to a bank in the downtown area. 

Demonstrations are likely to continue over the coming days amid a heightened security presence. Associated transportation disruptions are to expected in the vicinity of any protest.

Context

Mass protests originally broke out on October 17, 2019, after the government approved tax hikes on tobacco products and a daily tax on messages and calls done via the WhatsApp mobile phone messenger application. The protests forced the government to revoke the tax proposal and since then the demands evolved into calling for the resignation of the government. On October 29, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation, and on January 21, his successor former education minister Hassan Diab, was appointed.

Advice

Individuals in Lebanon are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence and disruptions to transportation and business near protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.